By Jessica Martini
A filly by Shackleford (hip 573) worked the fastest quarter-mile of the week when covering the distance in :20 3/5 during Saturday's fourth session of the under-tack show ahead of next week's Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's June Sale of 2-Year-Olds. Consigned by Jonathan Navas's Navas Equine, the bay filly is out of Moondancer (Cuvee) and from the family of Grade I winner Kitten's Dumplings.
“She was always training well and has a good mentality,” Navas said. “But last week when she prepped at OBS, she went :21 1/5. I usually prep at 70%, nothing crazy. So that was a very good solid preparation and she just kept improving from there. She was eating good and feeling better every single morning getting closer to the breeze show. Fortunately enough, this morning she just repeated or improved what she had been showing me.”
Navas purchased the youngster for $7,500 at last year's Keeneland September sale.
“You just have to be in the right place at the right time,” Navas said of the bargain purchase. “I just happened to be lucky–maybe a few people had already purchased their horses and I was lucky to be there at the right time when the ring was a little lonely and there wasn't too much competition. I fell in love with her right away. I liked her body, her conformation and her size–she's got to be taller than 16 hands. It seemed like the right price, so I just went for it.”
From a racing family in Venezuela, Navas has been in the U.S. since 2005.
“I've always been around the racetrack,” he said. “I've been an assistant trainer for a few people and I exercise horses.”
Navas launched his consignment last year and his first group of graduates includes Windy City Red (Chitu), who sold for $54,000 at last year's OBS June sale and went on to finish third in last year's Speakeasy S. before competing in the GII Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.
“I like competition and I don't get comfortable doing just one thing,” Navas said of the decision to start Navas Equine. “I like challenging myself. And that's one of the things that led me to try to open my own consignment and go and do great things if it's possible. At least to try it out.”
Based in Ocala, Navas aims to pinhook between 10 and 15 yearlings a year.
“I have clients, but not a lot of clients, so most of them are my horses,” Navas said. “But I've been doing breaking and training and getting good feedback. I have Marc Tacher, which is Sonata Stables. I am the one who is doing all of his breaking and training and then we send them to another consignment for them to finish the preparation and go to sales and racing. I've been fortunate to have good people supporting me.”
Seven horses worked the furlong in a co-bullet :10 flat Saturday: hip 570, a filly by Neolithic consigned by Hidden Brook on behalf of Patricia Generazio (video); hip 603, a colt by Central Banker consigned by RiceHorse Stable (video); hip 648, a filly by Bal a Bali (Brz) consigned by Little Farm Equine (video); hip 660, a colt by Bal a Bali consigned by Harris Training Center (video); hip 661, a gelding by Neolithic consigned by Two Oaks Equine (video); hip 697, a filly by Klimt consigned by Sugar Hill (video); and hip 713, a filly by The Big Beast consigned by Envision Equine (video).
The under-tack show concludes with a final session beginning at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. The June sale will be held next Wednesday through Friday with bidding beginning daily at 10:30 a.m.